MPL Measurements, Norwegian Young sea ICE cruise

1 October 2014 - 9 July 2015

Lead Scientist: Von Walden

Observatory: OSC

The Norwegian Young Sea Ice cruise (N-ICE) was conducted by the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) from January through June 2015. A comprehensive suite of instrumentation was deployed aboard the R/V Lance research vessel to measure properties of the atmosphere, sea ice, ocean, and associated ecosystem. The R/V Lance was frozen into the winter sea ice north of Svalbard at approximately 83 N, 30 E. The ship then drifted with the sea-ice pack until the summer melt season. The primary objective of this cruise was to provide unique data for understanding the dynamics of thin, first-year sea ice in three seasons. The Norwegian experiment consisted of five “Work Packages” focused on the Ocean, Atmospheric Forcing, Sea Ice Mass Balance and Snow, Sea Ice Dynamics, and Biology. The Atmospheric Forcing work package was a collaboration between NPI, Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Hokkaido University, Korea Polar Research Institute, University of Tromsø, and Washington State University.

As part of the Atmospheric Forcing work package, a DOE ARM MicroPulse Lidar (MPL) was deployed on the R/V Lance. The ARM MPL was used to characterize clouds during the field campaign in terms of cloud-base height, geometric thickness (for sufficiently low optical depths), and cloud particle phase. In particular, the depolarization capability of the lidar was used to determine the relative occurrence of liquid, mixed-phase, and ice clouds. The ARM MPL measurements were combined with other data from the work package to characterize the surface energy budget throughout the experiment. The work package also made observations of meteorological conditions, near-surface turbulent and radiative fluxes and precipitation at the site. A tethered balloon was also be deployed to measure in situ atmospheric and cloud properties.

The Atmospheric Forcing data, including the ARM MPL measurements, comprised a critical data set that was used by each of the other work packages associated with the experiment. These data were central for understanding the observed changes in the sea ice conditions throughout the experiment. There were also additional research activities that used the data. For instance, there were comparisons of the atmospheric conditions aboard the ship with those measured by AWI at Ny Alesund. The data were also used by an Atmospheric Modeling group at AWI for model and parameterization evaluation of atmospheric and cloud conditions over young, thin sea ice in the Arctic.


Lana Cohen
Stephen Hudson


Sedlar J and M Tjernström. 2019. "A Process-Based Climatological Evaluation of AIRS Level 3 Tropospheric Thermodynamics over the High-Latitude Arctic." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 58(8), 10.1175/JAMC-D-18-0306.1.


Cohen L, S Hudson, V Walden, R Graham, and M Granskog. 2017. "Meteorological conditions in a thinner Arctic sea ice regime from winter to summer during the Norwegian Young Sea Ice expedition (N-ICE2015)." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122(14), 10.1002/2016JD026034.


Walden VP, SR Hudson, and L Cohen. 2016. Norwegian Young Sea Ice Experiment (N-ICE) Field Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-16-018.

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Campaign Data Sets

IOP Participant Data Source Name Final Data
Von Walden Micropulse Lidar Order Data